In addition to vast outdoor spaces, the National Park Service runs hundreds of museums and is a major storyteller of our country’s history.  Someone there acknowledged the reality that young people were not reading the plaques and displays that accompany all of the artifacts, so they decided to share the message in a way that kids may find more appealing.

Thus, the creation of the National Park trading cards.  

The Martin Luther King Historical Site in Atlanta has been summarized on five cards, each with about two sentences of text.  I suspect the hope is that the junior visitors will at least capture the key points of the exhibit, and show less reluctance to visit all five facilities at the site.

Can you learn a lesson from the trading card concept?  I think there are plenty:  Not all of your messages have to be lofty.  It is important to appeal to your audience where they are.  A great visual is tantalizing and can draw people to your message.  Less is often more.  Great copy with a web link can inspire people to follow up and learn later.

Dr. King taught many lessons about justice and integration.  Perhaps his legacy can live on to teach your organization another lesson about sharing stories in modern ways.

Anyone have an Ebenezer Baptist Church card to trade?

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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